The tuberculin skin test (TST) is the standard test used to screen for latent TB infection (LTBI) in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut. Interferon gamma release assays (IGRA) are T cell blood-based assays to diagnose LTBI. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is part of the routine immunization schedule in Nunavut. The objective of this study was to test the feasibility, and predictors of discordance between the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) and the IGRA assay in a medically under-serviced remote arctic Aboriginal population.
Both the TST and QuantiFERON-TB Gold (Qiagen group) IGRA tests were offered to people in their homes as part of a public health campaign aimed at high TB risk residential areas in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Feasibility was measured by the capacity of the staff to do the test successfully as measured by the proportion of results obtained.
In this population of predominantly young Inuit who were mostly BCG vaccinated, the use of IGRA for the diagnosis of LTBI was feasible. IGRA testing resulted in more available test results reaching patients (95.6% vs 90.9% p?=?0.02) but took longer (median 8 days (IGRA) vs 2 days (TST), p value
Indoor concentrations of air pollutants (benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, elemental carbon and ozone) were measured in residences in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Data were collected in 106 homes in winter and 111 homes in summer of 2007, with 71 homes participating in both seasons. In addition, data for relative humidity, temperature, air exchange rates, housing characteristics and occupants' activities during sampling were collected. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to construct season-specific models for the air pollutants. Where smoking was a major contributor to indoor concentrations, separate models were constructed for all homes and for those homes with no cigarette smoke exposure. The housing characteristics and occupants' activities investigated in this study explained between 11% and 53% of the variability in indoor air pollutant concentrations, with ventilation, age of home and attached garage being important predictors for many pollutants.
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Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant health burden among Inuit in Canada. Social determinants of health (SDH) play a key role in TB infection, disease and ongoing transmission in this population. The objective of this research was to estimate the prevalence of social determinants of Inuit health as they relate to latent TB infection (LTBI) among people living in residential areas at high risk for TB in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
Inperson home surveys were conducted among those who lived in predetermined residential areas at high risk for TB identified in a door-to-door TB prevention campaign in Iqaluit, Nunavut in 2011. Risk ratios for SDH and LTBI were estimated, and multiple imputation was used to address missing data.
261 participants completed the questionnaire. Most participants identified as Inuit (82%). Unadjusted risk ratios demonstrated that age, education, smoking tobacco, crowded housing conditions and Inuit ethnicity were associated with LTBI. After adjusting for other SDH, multivariable analysis showed an association between LTBI with increasing age (relative risk, RR 1.07, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.11), crowded housing (RR 1.48, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.00) and ethnicity (RR 2.76, 95% CI 1.33 to 5.73) after imputing missing data.
Among high-risk residential areas for TB in a remote Arctic region of Canada, crowded housing and Inuit ethnicity were associated with LTBI after adjusting for other SDH. In addition to strong screening and treatment programmes, alleviating the chronic housing shortage will be a key element in the elimination of TB in the Canadian Inuit Nunangat.
The incidence rate of active tuberculosis (TB) disease in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut has shown a rising trend over the past 10 years. In 2010 it was 60 times greater than the national incidence rate. The objective of the Taima (translates to "stop" in Inuktitut) TB study was to implement and evaluate a public health campaign to enhance existing TB prevention efforts in Nunavut.
A TB awareness campaign followed by a door-to-door screening campaign was carried out in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness about TB, and to provide in-home screening and treatment for people living in residential areas at high risk for TB. Screening was based on geographic location rather than on individual risk factors.
During the general awareness campaign an increase in the number of people who requested TB testing at the local public health clinic was observed. However, this increase was not sustained following cessation of the awareness campaign. Targeted TB screening in high risk residential areas in Iqaluit resulted in 224 individuals having TSTs read, and detection of 42 previously unidentified cases of latent TB, (overall yield of 18.8% or number needed to screen?=?5.3). These cases of latent TB infection (LTBI) were extra cases that had not been picked up by traditional screening practices (34% relative increase within the community). This resulted in a 33% relative increase in the completion of LTBI treatment within the community. The program directly and indirectly identified 5/17 new cases of active TB disease in Iqaluit during the study period (29.5% of all incident cases).
While contact tracing investigations remain a cornerstone of TB prevention, additional awareness, screening, and treatment programs like Taima TB may contribute to the successful control of TB in Aboriginal communities.
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